Disney Distribution Chief Dave Hollis Leaving To Run Wife Rachel Hollis' Company

And last year, Disney became the only studio to cross $6 billion twice. “I am very thankful to Dave for his dynamic and fearless leadership of our distribution organization, which has seen our studio to incredible heights at the worldwide box office, culminating in our three biggest years on record and, in 2016, the biggest year in industry history,” said Bergman. “We are very sad to see him go but wish him and his family all the best”.Taff currently leads franchise management and business and audience insights. “The creation of this new role is a significant step in more effectively supporting and expanding the presence of The Walt Disney Studios’ world-class collection of filmmaking studios, and Cathleen Taff is the perfect person to take it on, having demonstrated an expansive knowledge of our business, incisive creative instincts, and boundless resourcefulness over the course of her multifaceted career at Disney,” Bergman said in a statement.Disney veteran Cathleen Taff will assume Hollis’ job, becoming the only female to currently run theatrical distribution at a major Hollywood studio.Longtime Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis is leaving the studio to become CEO of his wife Rachel Hollis’ company, Chic Media, and relocate his family to Texas.Upon leaving Disney, her husband will serve as CEO of Chic Media. “I can’t count the number of ‘pinch-me’ moments I’ve had in my time at Disney, and in a world where so few opportunities could compare, the chance to support my wife and help grow her company was something I couldn’t pass up,” Dave Hollis said in a statement.Taff will have expanded responsibilities in addition to distribution under the newly created title of executive vp theatrical distribution, franchise management and business and audience insights, studio president Alan Bergman announced Monday.

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Box Office: Will 'Black Panther' Conquer China?

Latent tensions over this question came to the fore days before the film’s U. S. release, when a Chinese-language character poster for Panther emerged online showing Chadwick Boseman’s hero with his face concealed by his character’s headgear. Since the U. S. version of the same poster showed Boseman both masked and unmasked, some observers naturally began to speculate that Disney might be trying to downplay the film’s African origins in China because of assumptions about the local audience.But if Chinese audiences do view Black Panther mostly as “just another superhero movie,” the film is also unlikely to benefit from the positive marketing effect that has come with its status as a cultural milestone in the U. S. , where, alongside its depth, originality and sheer entertainment value, critics and filmgoers alike have celebrated Panther for breaking new ground in terms of onscreen diversity.A strong performance by Black Panther in China would put it in the same range as other comparable “character-launch” Marvel movies in the territory, such as Guardians of the Galaxy ($86 million), Ant-Man ($105 million) and Doctor Strange ($109 million).Disney’s official Chinese trailer for Black Panther includes brief clips of Thor, Iron Man and Captain America — clips not in the U. S. version — driving home the message that the new film firmly belongs in the Marvel pantheon.Marvel movies are Hollywood’s most successful film franchise in China, vastly outperforming Warner Bros. ‘ DC films and Disney’s Star Wars movies, the latter of which have yet to land with Chinese audiences.Foreign-language comedies are notoriously hard to translate to local culture (none of Judd Apatow’s movies have been released in China either); and Chinese distributors have only recently begun to test the waters with imported historical dramas (Darkest Hour, released in China in December, brought in a modest $5. 8 million).”Since Wolf Warrior 2 was such a hit and introduced Africa as a setting to the Chinese audience,” notes Rosen, “it will be interesting to see if Black Panther’s mythical African kingdom of Wakanda might also be a hook to draw people in”.Speculation about race and cultural assumptions aside, the most immediate challenge Disney faces in marketing Black Panther in China is a familiar one: how to bring an audience up to speed on a character and complicated backstory it knows nothing about.As it’s prowled the globe, Panther has tracked down and slain Hollywood’s conventional “wisdom” that movies led by black casts don’t sell well overseas. Following a strong $12. 9 million first week in Russia, it opened way ahead of Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy in Japan with $4. 2 million, while also adding to hefty totals in South Korea ($36 million) and most of Southeast Asia.In fact, the available evidence suggests Black Panther is on track to open much like any other Marvel superhero movie in China.China’s growing interest yet occasional lack of self-awareness concerning Africa was put on full display in February during a now-infamous skit included in China Central Television’s Spring Festival Gala, the annual variety show watched by an estimated 700 million viewers during the Chinese New Year holiday.

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Oscars: 'Shape Of Water' Is Top-Grossing Best Picture Winner In Five Years

To date, Shape of Water has grossed $57. 4 million domestically and $126. 4 million worldwide. (In addition to best picture, del Toro took home his first Academy Award for best director.Three years ago, Birdman took in took in $37. 8 million domestically and $103. 2 million worldwide, preceded the year before by 12 Years a Slave with $50. 3 million domestically (it went on to earn $187. 7 million globally).Last year’s best picture winner, Moonlight, topped out at $22. 1 million domestically and $27. 8 worldwide; the year before that, champ Spotlight grossed $45 domestically and $43. 3 million overseas for a total $88. 3 million.

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Weekend Box Office: 'Black Panther' Dazzles With $65.7M In Third Outing

Death Wish, a remake of the 1974 revenge thriller, opened to an estimated $13 million from 2,847 locations.  In the film, which took third place over the weekend, Willis stars as a doctor who takes the law into his own hands after an attack on his wife and daughter.Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘Red Sparrow’ debuts to $17 million, while Bruce Willis-starrer ‘Death Wish’ takes in an estimated $13 million; select Oscar nominees enjoy a last-minute surge before Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony.Black Panther has yet to open in China, where it will bow on Friday. To date, the U. K. leads all territories with $49. 1 million, followed by South Korea ($41. 4 million), Brazil ($24. 9 million), Australia ($22. 3 million) and Mexico ($22 million). It also is the No. 5 release of all time in South Africa, and the highest-grossing title ever in West Africa and East Africa.Movies from Jennifer Lawrence and Bruce Willis were no match for Disney and Marvel’s Black Panther, which amassed another $65. 7 million in its third outing to leap past the $500 million mark in North America and earn nearly $900 million worldwide.Most notably, Guillermo del Toro’s frontrunner The Shape of Water was up 19 percent from last weekend, grossing an estimated $1. 4 million from 832 theaters for a domestic total of $57. 4 million.From Fox and Chernin Entertainment, Red Sparrow beat Death Wish with an estimated $17 million from 3,056 theaters to place second.Two R-rated action pics opened opposite Black Panther in North America — Red Sparrow, a spy thriller starring Lawrence, and Willis’ Death Wish remake. Both did muted business.

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Weekend Box Office: 'Red Sparrow' Flying Past 'Death Wish'

In an R-rated action showdown, Jennifer Lawrence’s Red Sparrow is flying past Bruce Willis’ Death Wish remake at the North American box office, according to early returns.Based on early Friday returns, Death Wish is projected to open in the $12 million-$13 million range from 2,847 theaters after earning $650,000 in previews.At the specialty box office, movies competing in the Oscar race hope to benefit from an 11th-hour surge before Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, including such best-picture nominees as The Shape of Water; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Darkest Hour; Phantom Thread; and Call Me by Your Name.Blockbuster ‘Black Panther’ is set to beat both new films in its third outing as it leaps past the $800 million mark globally.On Friday, the Disney and Marvel superhero pic will leap past the $800 million mark at the global box office after finishing Thursday with $780. 3 million in worldwide ticket sales, including $435. 4 million in the U. S.Red Sparrow has a 50 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while Death Wish is getting crushed by critics with a 12 percent aggregated score (MGM didn’t lift the review embargo until Thursday).Blockbuster Black Panther, however, will beat both new films in its third outing with a projected haul of $60 million or more.From Fox and Chernin Entertainment, Red Sparrow is pacing to open in the $17 million-$20 million range from 3,056 locations after earning $1. 2 million in Thursday-night previews.Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parker and Charlotte Rampling co-star in the film, which reportedly cost a net $69 million to produce.

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Live-Action 'Mulan' Pushed Back More Than A Year To Spring 2020

Disney has long known it wouldn’t meet the original 2018 release date after conducting a yearlong search to find the film’s star that culminated in the hire of Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, in November.Disney also made a host of other changes to its release calendar, including moving up the release of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War by a week to April 27, and announcing that its untitled Christopher Robin project will be officially called Christopher Robin.The movie was originally set to open in theaters Nov. 2, 2018, but it took more than a year to find the film’s star, Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, after an extensive worldwide search that concluded with her hire last November.The studio also removed Nicole, starring Anna Kendrick as a female Santa Claus, from the calendar. It had been set for Nov. 8, 2019, and sources say Disney plans to include the film on its upcoming streaming service, which it plans to launch in 2019.

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Will Packer, Marsai Martin's Comedy 'Little' Lands Fall 2019 Release Date

Universal also reveals that two other films from Packer — the prolific producer behind ‘Girls Trip’ — are in the works.The studio also revealed that two other comedies from Packer, the prolific producer behind such hits as Girls Trip, are in the works.The Will Packer-produced comedy Little, starring Black-ish breakout star Marsai Martin, will hit theaters Sept. 20, 2019, Universal announced Thursday.

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'Ready Player One' Locks Down China Release Date

Ready Player One follows Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a teenager and gamer on a high-stakes pursuit in a VR-like video game world called the OASIS.  The game’s deceased creator James Halliday (Mark Rylance) set up a treasure hunt prior to his death, and the winner of the game will become the richest person on Earth and also get control of OASIS.Although a legend in the U. S. , Steven Spielberg hasn’t been a huge box-office force in China — but ‘Ready Player One’ could change that.Sci-fi fantasy franchises with long Hollywood histories — Star Wars and Star Trek — have generally been disappointments, since the recent franchise reboots tend to rely heavily on nostalgia and references to the early films, which many young Chinese filmgoers naturally just don’t get.Steven Spielberg’s much anticipated sci-fi action adventure Ready Player One has secured a China release date of March 30, the same day it opens in the U. S.Most of the legendary director’s early-career blockbuster output came long before the Middle Kingdom asserted itself as a huge market for movies, and the historical work that has characterized his filmmaking since 2010 — Lincoln, Bridge of Spies, The Post — isn’t the sort of popcorn fare that lures large numbers of Chinese viewers into the multiplex.

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China Box Office Surges 39 Percent In First Two Months Of 2018

Hollywood, however, has been somewhat absent from the scene in 2018. The three biggest U. S. films this year so far are Jumaji: Welcome to the Jungle ($77. 9 million), Maze Runner: The Death Cure ($49. 7 million) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($42. 6 million), all of which were dwarfed by an imported Bollywood blockbuster, Amir Kahn’s musical drama Secret Superstar ($117 million).At the close of February, Wanda Film’s action comedy blockbuster Detective Chinatown 2, a ribald local spin on the Sherlock archetype, was 2018’s frontrunner, having pulled in $454. 5 million since Feb. 16.It was closely trailed by Bona Film Group’s military action flick Operation Red Sea, which has ridden red-hot word-of-mouth to become 2018’s biggest surprise, with a $395 million total so far.

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Box-Office Preview: 'Red Sparrow,' 'Death Wish' Brave 'Black Panther'

Jennifer Lawrence stars in ‘Red Sparrow,’ a seductive, R-rated action pic; ‘Death Wish,’ featuring Bruce Willis, is a remake of the classic 1974 revenge thriller.A pair of R-rated action movies go up against Black Panther: Jennifer Lawrence-starrer Red Sparrow and Death Wish, a remake of the 1974 revenge-thriller that starred Charles Bronson.At the specialty box office, movies competing in the Oscar race hope to benefit from an 11th-hour surge before Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, including such best-picture nominees as The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread and Call Me by Your Name.

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